I know that by posting this review I’m going to run the risk of having my black card revoked. However, as a journalist by trade, and someone deeply committed to the truth, this has to be said:
The Fenty Beauty Foundation is acne in a bottle. If you’d prefer to hear my thoughts as opposed to reading this article you can watch my impromptu facebook like video:
Now, before I jump into my review, let me drop a few facts about your girl:
- I’ve been a beauty blogger for over 5 years. Reviewing makeup both here and on my youtube channel is what I do.
- I am a full-time content creator.
- I know how to apply makeup and test it on myself
- I am not a skincare expert
- I am not a chemist
- I am not a makeup artist
- I am a makeup enthusiast
- I am a woman of a certain age
- I have a rigorous skincare routine and have been under the care of a dermatologist for the last year
- I have acne-prone, and oily skin. No combo skin, oily all around skin.
- To keep my acne at bay, I use the prescription Retin-A.
- To keep my face oil (sebum) at bay, I drink a ton of water.
- I am a Rihanna fan, while I am not a member of the Navy, I fucks with her. Heavy.
- I purchased all of my Fenty Beauty products with my own money.
- If you love this foundation I’m happy for you.
Like most of you reading, when Rihanna announced she was releasing a makeup line, I set aside my coins and waited with bated breath. I routinely support black-owned businesses and businesses that cater to black women like Vault Cosmetics, Juvia’s Place, Coloured Raine, Danessa Myercks, Pat Mcgrath, The Lip Bar, and many more (read HERE), so it was without question that I would support Rhi Rhi’s launch. Also, As a sheer coincidence, I was staying in Times Square the day it was released and was able to buy her foundation, primer, several of her stick and powder highlighters, and the highlighter, concealer, and contour trio.
As they say go hard or go home, right?
Let’s start with what I love about this foundation:
- 40 effin colors! Most brands wait months and months before releasing the darker shades, so it was so clutch to go right into a store and grab a foundation in my shade from jump
- The foundation feels like a dream going on
- It’s creamy and light weight. Feels like nothing is on your skin.
- It has a very natural finish, perfect for girls who want to wear a foundation without looking made up. This foundation is perfect for my girls who love a quick beat for the workday or for running errands
Here’s what I didn’t love about it and why I call it acne in a bottle:
- I tried Fenty Beauty twice for about 8-10 hours on each try, and on both occasions, I developed several pimples. Not huge cystic pimples, but 2 each time. I’m still battling the two I developed on Saturday.
- I was color-matched by a Fenty Beauty Makeup Artist/Specialist in the color 430. While this color is advertised as Neutral, it has a very golden undertone that simply became more gold/yellow as time wore on.
- Fenty Beauty Foundation made my skin beyond oily. I tried it with the Fenty Primer and the The Fenty blotting powder, and still, within an hour or two my face was oily. I could see my pores enlarge as the day went on as well. My skin reacted almost as if it were being suffocated, and in an effort to breath, my pores got bigger and my skin began to produce more oil.
- The ingredients in the Fenty Beauty Foundation read as such:
Water, Dimethicone, Talc, Peg-10 Dimethicone, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Polypropylene, Isododecane, Cetyl Peg/Ppg-10/1 Dimethicone, Nylon-12, Hdi/Trimethylol Hexyllactone Crosspolymer, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Chloride, Hydrogen Dimethicone, Glycerin, Magnesium Sulfate, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Aluminum Hydroxide, Methicone, Benzoic Acid, Dehydroacetic Acid, Propylene Carbonate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Parfum/Fragrance, Silica, Biosaccharide Gum-4, Ananas Sativus (Pineapple) Fruit Extract, Carica Papaya (Papaya) Fruit Extract, Paullinia Cupana Seed Extract, Potassium Sorbate, Sorbic Acid. May Contain (+/-): Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI77499).
Notice how frequently Dimethicone, a silicone, occurs so early on in the indredient list.
Why is this important?
1. Silicones trap debris in your pores.
Like plastic wrap, silicones form a barrier on top of your skin. That barrier can lock in moisture, yes, but it can also trap dirt, sweat, bacteria, sebum, dead skin cells and other debris along with it!
2. Silicones can cause acne and congestion.
Prolonged exposure to oil, dead skin and bacteria underneath the semi-occlusive seal of silicones can lead to increased breakouts. If you are acne-prone, I consider silicones among the most important ingredients to avoid—maybe even THE most important. Silicones can also be a culprit in under-the-skin clogs (a.k.a. congestion), even if you don’t develop full-blown acne.
To be fair, if you like a liquid foundation, you’ll be hard pressed to find a liquid foundation without silicone, particularly Dimethicone. It’s found in most foundations, but it occurs a LOT in Fenty Beauty. Too much for my liking. The only, and I mean, only, foundation that keeps my skin less oily (not oil-free, but less oily than any other foundation I’ve tried, is Estee Lauder Doublewear foundation:
Still, even Estee Lauder Double Wear (reviewed HERE), contains Dimethicone:
Water\Aqua\Eau; Cyclopentasiloxane; Trimethylsiloxysilicate; Peg/Ppg-18/18 Dimethicone; Butylene Glycol; Tribehenin; Polyglyceryl-3 Diisostearate; Magnesium Sulfate; Tocopheryl Acetate; Polymethylsilsesquioxane; Methicone; Laureth-7; Xanthan Gum; Alumina; Sodium Dehydroacetate; Disteardimonium Hectorite; Cellulose Gum; Propylene Carbonate; Pentaerythrityl Tetra-Di-T-Butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate; Phenoxyethanol; [+/- Iron Oxides (Ci 77491, Ci 77492, Ci 77499); Mica; Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891)] <ILN39010>
Note how infrequently Dimethicone occurs in Double wear in comparison to the how frequently it occurs in Fenty Beauty.
It’s also found in the Fenty Beauty Primer:
Water, Dimethicone, Isododecane, Glycerin, Cetyl Peg/Ppg-10/1 Dimethicone, Pentaerythrityl Tetraisostearate, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Nylon-12, Phenoxyethanol, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Sodium Chloride, Talc, Magnesium Sulfate, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Benzoic Acid, Tocopheryl Acetate, Dehydroacetic Acid, Propylene Carbonate, Hydrogen Dimethicone, Ethylhexylglycerin, Parfum/Fragrance, Aluminum Hydroxide, Coral Powder, Sodium Hyaluronate, Xanthan Gum, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492).
In short, if you truly have oily skin, Fenty Beauty Foundation Primer and Foundation will not keep your oil at bay for extended periods of time. It’ll feel great going on and even look great at first, but over time? Forget about it.
My thoughts on a few of the other products in the line:
The color Ginger binge is my absolute favorite, and looks and feels like a dream going on. Placed on top of Sinnamon shimmer stick and you’ll never want to use another highlighter in your life.
This was just a fail on me. I always highlight and contour, and while the concealer shade in 400 was slightly darker than I would normally go, by the time I was done with my face, I looked “too natural.” It would work, perhaps, for my “go to the office face,” but not for the Fenty beat I was after. It did feel amazing going on, and blended out beautifully. This product would be great for beginners, too.
Fenty Shimmer Sticks: $25, 10 shades.
Get to a local Sephora and snag some samples. Try to get enough to test this foundation out on your skin 2-3 times. Do not make up your mind at first attempt. You can also try other foundations. Click HERE for a list of 30 companies that make foundation colors for dark skin.
Share your thoughts below!